Harris, Pence set to debate in Salt Lake City

Ballotpedia's Daily Presidential News Briefing
October 7, 2020: Kamala Harris and Mike Pence are meeting in the first and only vice presidential debate on Wednesday night. The Biden campaign reserved $6.2 million in ads in Texas.


Presidential Facebook ads, 2019-2020 (September 28-October 4, 2020)

Notable Quote of the Day

“In an ironic twist, Pence now finds himself in the same position as Biden in 2012, after Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney had prevailed over a curiously passive President Barack Obama in their first debate. Amid flagging poll numbers, Biden was tasked with righting the ship and providing a jolt of momentum in his debate with Romney running mate Paul Ryan.

The stakes are even greater for Pence in 2020, given Trump’s health and the many other obstacles facing the campaign. There are reasons to believe that Pence can replicate Biden’s debate success story from 2012. He will again benefit from low expectations given Harris’ high-profile record and experience. And she will be constrained from delivering a full throttle attack against Trump as he continues recovering from COVID, also a potential advantage for Pence.

As in 2012, an unexpectedly dynamic debate performance by a vice presidential nominee could provide much needed energy to the troubled Trump-Pence campaign at the most crucial time. It would be a mistake to again underestimate Mike Pence. And surely no one understands the potential for this role reversal better than Joe Biden himself.”

– Aaron Kall, director of debate at the University of Michigan

Election Updates

  • Kamala Harris and Mike Pence are meeting in the first and only vice presidential debate on Wednesday night at the University of Utah’s Kingsbury Hall in Salt Lake City. USA Today’s Susan Page is moderating the event. The debate will run for 90 minutes without commercial interruption and include nine 10-minute segments. The topics were not disclosed ahead of time. The candidates will be seated 13 feet apart and separated by plexiglass.
  • Joe Biden released a series of ads appealing to Latino voters in Florida and another series of ads nationwide focused on Black voters. Biden also reserved $6.2 million in ads in Texas, marking the largest investment from a Democratic nominee in the state in 25 years, according to Texas Democratic Party spokesperson Abhi Rahman.
  • The Biden campaign also released a 24-minute video online featuring Michelle Obama making a closing argument to voters in support of Biden.
  • Biden said on Tuesday that the second presidential debate scheduled for October 15 should not be held if Donald Trump is still infected with coronavirus. “And so I’ll be guided by the guidelines of the Cleveland Clinic, and what the docs say is the right thing to do—if and when he shows up for debate,” Biden said. Trump campaign spokesman Tim Murtaugh responded, “President Trump will be healthy and will be there. There’s no getting out of this one for Biden, and his protectors in the media can’t cover for him.”
  • The Biden campaign is scheduled to host 53 virtual fundraisers over 14 days beginning Tuesday.
  • The editorial board of The New York Times endorsed Biden on Tuesday.
  • Donald Trump’s physician said in a statement on Tuesday that Trump’s vitals were stable, and Trump reported no coronavirus symptoms.
  • Facebook removed and Twitter flagged a post from Trump that said the seasonal flu was deadlier than COVID-19 in most populations.
  • Trump told Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin on Tuesday to halt bipartisan negotiations over an economic relief package until after the election. In the evening, he tweeted that he supported the immediate passage of $25 billion in aid for the airline industry and direct payments of $1,200 to Americans.
  • Howie Hawkins discussed his economic and Green New Deal policies in an interview on KUTV.
  • Jo Jorgensen campaigned in New York on Tuesday.

Flashback: October 7, 2016

The Washington Post shared a 2005 video of Donald Trump discussing groping women on Access Hollywood.blank

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About the author

Emily Aubert

Emily Aubert is a staff writer at Ballotpedia. Contact us at editor@ballotpedia.org.

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